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Mar 6, 2007 12:27 PM

Best Island in Hawaii for Food?

Which Island is the best for a chowhound? And WHY?

If you had 10 days in Hawaii and only wanted to spend it on one Island, but do a 2/3 island hop for food, what two islands would you pick?

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  1. I would pick and did pick Oahu, In my humble opinion the Honolulu/Waikiki area will give you the widest variety of restaurants vs. any of the other islands. Also a day trip up to the North Shore is awesome. We spent 10 days in Waikiki, and Hawaii is paradise.

    1 Reply
    1. re: swsidejim

      I will heartily agree with swsidejim. I've dined on almost every side of every island, except Molo'kai, and Oahu has the best restaurants. That said, each of the other islands has some good food at all levels, but Oahu is unsurpassed. The Greater Honolulu Area has it all from tiny local haunts, that just have great food, to world-class restaurants that would easily have atleast one star, if they were in Europe.

      There have been some recent threads with reviews of all level of restaurant on Oahu. I hit some of the high-end spots (plus North Shore) in, and there are many, recent reviews of other types of spots. A Search should yield a full spectrum.

      I've found good restaurants on all islands, but nothing to match Oahu.


    2. For food, definitely Oahu. Lived on Oahu & Kauai.

      Love Alan Wong's, Sasabune (love Sasabune!) and had stellar meals at Roy's (in Hawaii Kai) time & time again though it is a chain I guess. Yanagi sushi is also great.

      For really good cheap local food, find Side Street Cafe and order the fried pork chops, misoyaki chicken (no skin if you like), Big Island smoked pork and a side of rice. Yummm.... Always a must go every visit. Open late serve food late. Lot of chefs go there after closing time. When David Rosengarten was there doing a Food Network special he even raved about it to the audience's delight.

      KC Drive Inn has awesome chocolate ono ono shakes too (chocolate peanut butter). I wish there was a Curry House around the corner too!

      No other island even comes close to Oahu for food.

      On Kauai, Beachhouse has great food and just gorgeous sunsets. Dondero's & Tidepools are great at the Hyatt but still Hyatt restaurants. There is a Roy's in Poipu village as well.

      My favorites on Kauai are the local spots. Koloa Fish Market for great seared ahi, poke & plate lunches. Seuoka's for super super local stuff like loco moco, mahi sandwiches, burgers & fries. Hamura Saimin (super, super divey) for saimin & lilikoi pie. Jo Jo's for shave ice in Waimea. A walk up counter spot in Hanalei in Ching Young village just east of the Big Save for kalua pork sandwiches & semi-healthy plate lunches (changes but stuff like brown rice curried ahi dish).

      Wish I still lived there!

      2 Replies
        1. re: clee222

          What a horrifying bummer!!! How will I ever get another chocolate ono ono shake?

          Thought of some good Chinese food on Oahu. Sun Tek (great meals), Fook Yuen (great meals - open late - crepe desert place downstairs), Maple Garden (possibly my favorite - loved the won ton noodle soup with spinach & the Chinese donughts in a biscuit - soo. good), Panda (great dim sum).

        1. I've never been to any other island than Oahu, but, man, there's good food on Oahu!

          1. The food is good everywhere that's not tourisy. Oahu because it's the home of the biggest city, and Alan Wongs may be one of the best meals I've ever had in my life. Maui probably the worst because of the tourists, but anywhere you go, if you stick to fish and fruit you wont be disappointed. Best piece of pineapple came from where else- Lanai, which used to be a Dole pineapple plantation. (the food at both resports on Lanai is excellent, btw)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Quesera

              I will second the food, though from too many years back to be valid, on Lanai. There is also a B&B-style hotel in Lanai City, that was very good. It was owned and run by two brothers from Metro New Orleans - one the host, the other the chef. Last trip, they found out that my wife was both a chef and from New Orleans, and invited her into the kitchen to work on some recipies for introduction later. Unfortunately, we've not been back in far too long, but I'd say that there are definitely three (or were) restaurants worth dining at. The lesser restaurant at Manile Bay was good, though nothing above normal resort fare.